Being a major carnivore, M is always on the lookout for the best meats around. Though we are no longer close by, we wanted to highlight what we think is one of the best butchers in Chicago and on the North Shore: Homestead Meats (1305 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL). Homestead Meats, ever since it opened in the summer of 2014, quickly became our go-to butcher shop. Homestead meats is a small family butcher run by Ehran Ostrreicher, who comes from an Austrian-Israeli family with extensive butchery experience.
As the selection often varies, we love turning up at Homestead Meats to just see what they have in store, especially when it comes to sausages and charcuterie. And since everything is fresh and made in small batches, once it’s gone, it’s gone (until next week). All of the sausages are made in house, and are often made with local beer and an array of international spices. We like to sample whatever they have: the chorizo and Italian sausage are some of our favorites. Most significantly, even L, who doesn’t like sausage that much, became a convert. Along with sausages, Homestead makes their own charcuterie, dried meats and pâté. M really particularly enjoys the air-dried Bresaola (it definitely put Eatalay’s version to shame).
In the other half of the butcher’s case there are beef steaks and cuts of lamb and pork. They have an impressive variety of steak cuts that seem to rotate, including skirt steak, filets, pub steaks and even some rarer cuts like tri-tip. We were floored to see picanha, a typical Brazilian cut of steak! Raul, one of the butchers, said he had read up on the cut in order to get it just right. We appreciate the attention to detail that goes into everything at Homestead.
Though it is fun to go in and be surprised at the latest selection, you can also request and pre-order items and cuts in advance – and they are quite accommodating. Along with everything else, there is also a freezer that is also stocked with ground beef, eggs and chili. At times, they even have deli sandwiches. We have never been disappointed by anything we have bought at Homestead, and it has definitely made it difficult to go to the big box grocery store butcher counter. We promise you will be a convert!